Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book promotion geared toward libraries.

Most of the book promotion that I do is geared toward conventional and online bookstores. Some few books that I promote can be bought only at authors' web sites (it's very rare that books I'm hired to promote are not available via Amazon.com, but it still occasionally happens).

So I ask questions about distribution before I agree on a book promotion campaign because I know a bit about distribution to bookstores and via web sites. But I know little about book promotion that's geared toward libraries -- or, specifically, toward librarians. How do librarians choose their acquisitions? Which trade publications (aside from the obvious ones that contain the word "library") do they read? How else do books get on librarians' radar screen?

I was, therefore, delighted to find an article online by Sherry Thomas, a Bantam historical romance novelist, called "How Do Romances Get on the Shelves–Library Shelves."

Although the article addresses the question of how librarians choose which romance novels to acquire, it also sheds light on the process of libraries' acquisitions, in general. It seems as though the goal is to bring your book to the attention of librarians. If you can accomplish that, then there's no guarantee the librarians will buy your book -- but, at least, your book will be up for consideration.

My thanks go out to Sherry Thomas for shedding light on how the mysterious process of libraries' acquisitions work -- and, too, for offering hope that library patrons can sometimes be persuaded to buy their favorite books once they've test-driven them (so to speak). I've read that libraries are busier than ever these days with so many people opting to borrow books instead of buying them. It's reassuring to think that not all those book borrowers are committed to short-term relationiships with their favorite books. There's still room for selling a borrower on a book if the book is good enough -- and making the book good enough is the job that most authors do best (at least, they always tell me that "writing is the easy part". So that article made my morning!